column was published in the North
Shore News on
July 22, 1998)
fights to right system's wrongs
By Leo Knight
weeks go, the last one was rainier than should be this time of
year. But it was more interesting than most in a host of ways.
a blatant display of where the attorney general's priorities
lie, he has decreed his office will appeal the decision by a New
Westminster Justice of the Peace ruling photo radar is
unconstitutional in the way it is applied and enforced in this
it only last February when Ujjal Dosanjh played out the final
card in the charade of Regina vs William Bennest?
the convicted pedophile who earned his daily crust as an
elementary school principal, waltzed through the criminal
justice system last October with barely a blemish on his record
and a minor stinging on his wrists. The resulting outcry forced
the apparently unwilling AG to announce an appeal of the
sentence given to Bennest. The sentence, mind you, not a review
of how the whole disgusting situation came about.
just two weeks later, as the Director of Criminal Appeals, Bob
Wright, was diligently writing and researching the legal brief
for the appeal, Dosanjh appointed former Supreme Court Justice
Josiah Wood to review and report to him on the chances of
success for such an appeal.
reported back to the AG on Feb. 12 in a 400-word letter
dismissing all the hard work and lengthy arguments presented by
reasons. No analysis. None of that trite legal stuff, just a
simple few phrases saying, "sorry, it won't work."
that, Dosanjh stopped the appeal in its tracks.
question hung in the air like a dirigible. Why not simply let
the courts decide on the appeal?
indeed? The issue of an elementary school principal messing
around with 12-year-old boys under his care is one that offended
even the most jaded watchers of the justice system.
case came to the attention of Doug Stead. A man who had already
felt the frustration of a justice system unwilling to prosecute
another individual who had been accused of interfering with
young children. In that case, it was a family member of Stead's
who was allegedly victimized by Dr. John Gossage, then a New
battled, screamed and protested to no avail with an uncaring
system. Despite dozens of complaints from a variety of victims,
Gossage was never charged criminally. But he was found guilty of
professional misconduct by the College of Physicians and
was left frustrated, angry and wanting vengeance.
came a photo radar ticket in the mail and Stead got his chance
to stick it in the eye of the attorney general, the office who
denied justice to Stead and his family.
fought the photo radar ticket and had the method of delivering
tickets declared unconstitutional. He used the system that
protected an alleged pedophile to protect all of us from the
dirty, money grubbing hands of the NDP.
did Dosanjh respond? Appeal that decision, he ordered. Not now,
but right now. Did he hire a former Supreme Court Justice to
review the chances of a successful appeal?
Marge! Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead with the appeal.
let me see if I have this right. A homosexual pedophile is the
principal of an elementary school and has designs on a
12-year-old male student.
takes pictures of that boy and superimposes the images of
another underage male prostitute engaged in sexual acts with the
principal, along with the student.
is ultimately charged with a number of crimes involving sex and
children -- young boys.
he is let off in a plea bargain arrangement and sees not one day
in jail. No public retribution for his disgraceful and
disgusting acts. Nothing for his outrageous breach of trust.
the AG ensures no appeal is ever launched despite the public
demand for justice.
hides behind the innocuous and specious Wood report, but the
truth is he demonstrated no apparent stomach for the appeal.
What, pray tell me, could he have been afraid of?
fast forward to Stead's photo radar case. Dosanjh and the rest
of his morally-challenged government is faced with the loss of a
projected $100 million in revenue from the blatant money grab
which is photo radar, and it's all hands to the pumps in
mounting the appeal.
Stead is revelling in the situation he has found himself in. He
is a successful businessman with his hi-tech firm Tri-M Systems
in Coquitlam. He can certainly afford the $172 speeding ticket.
he's in this for the long haul. The little guy is fighting the
system and if there's a God in heaven, he'll bring the NDP to
a quick message to Gordon Campbell and his less than effective
opposition: get on this bandwagon quick.
has asked me to pass on this offer for the reader. If anyone has
any information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of
a politician, doctor, lawyer or judge on charges of pedophilia,
he'll personally give a cheque for $10,000 to the whistleblower.
thousand bucks to out a kiddie diddler. Not bad.
I will personally guarantee absolute confidentiality to anyone who comes to me with information. My email address is listed below or call me at the North Shore News. Doug Stead's email is firstname.lastname@example.org
It's time these leeches were shown up for what they are. Are you listening Premier Clark? Pay attention Mr. Dosanjh. The little guy is getting mad.